Impacts of Land Cover Changes on Soil Erosion for Agricultural Sustainability in Maragua Sub-Watershed: Case Study in Murang’a County, Kenya

Virginia Mweru Maina, Mark K Boitt


Soil erosion affects the yield production becoming a major constraint to agriculture and environmental sustainability. In the last decade, Maragua watershed has undergone major environmental changes. This study explicates the detection of land cover change and how this has affected the amount of soil loss. Three epochs each spanning ten years from 1987 all though to 2017 was selected for this study. To prioritize conservation of predisposed areas, climatic conditions and topography factors that accelerate soil erosion were used in the RUSLE model to generate erosion risk maps and change analysis was carried out to show the trend in soil erosion. Land cover classification, was performed and a trend in the change was examined. To achieve the main objective; randomly created point sampled within the study area were used to demonstrate consistent trends in land cover changes that resulted in high erosion areas. The results of this study shows that bare land and cropland land covers were the major causes of increased soil erosion over the period of the study. The spatial and quantitative information on soil erosion this research provides can be used in managing resources and help implement practical approaches for agricultural sustainability.

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DOI: 10.17700/jai.2020.11.2.585

Journal of Agricultural Informatics